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Kirkland Lake – Espanola semifinal series preview

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL COMMUNICATIONS
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Release Date: Friday, March 28, 2014

Kirkland Lake – Espanola semifinal series preview

SUDBURY – The second round of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs get underway Friday evening in Kirkland Lake as the No. 2 Gold Miners host the No. 3 Espanola Rivermen in game 1 of their best-of-seven semifinal series at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The following is a preview of the series:

SCHEDULE:

NOJHL PLAYOFF SERIES F
SEMIFINALS
No. 2 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 3 Espanola Rivermen
Best-of-seven series

Game 1: Friday, March 28 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, March 30 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 1 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 3 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 5 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 7 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 9 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.

*-if necessary

HOW THEY ARRIVED: Both teams enter the second round of the NOJHL playoffs unbeaten after each side posted sweeps in their respective quarter-final series.

Kirkland Lake handled the North Bay Trappers in four straight while the Espanola did likewise with Sudbury.

The Rivermen scored a league co-high 24 times in their series win while the Gold Miners notched 19 markers.

Kirkland Lake allowed a NOJHL-low six against in round 1 with Espanola giving up 13.

POSTSEASON PERFORMERS: Offensively Espanola boasts five skaters among the top 10 in playoff scoring entering semifinal play.

Corbin Bean and Blake Peavey share the team lead with nine points, which ties them for the second most in the league.

Bean’s six goals and three game-winners are the most of any player in the NOJHL to date while Peavey’s eight assists lead the way.

Captain Brad Edwards and Brandon Janke are tied for fifth in playoff offensive production with eight points apiece.

Robert Smythe rounds out the Rivermen in the top 10 as he is knotted for eighth.

Steven Babin and Samuel Wilbur were the top point getters for the Gold Miners in their series triumph over North Bay as the duo amassed seven points each.

Between the pipes Kirkland Lake’s Jeremy Pominville leads all NOJHL netminders in playoff goals-against average and save percentage at 1.33 and .942 respectively.

He won all three starts he had vs. the Trappers while Kenny Fitzgerald was victorious in his lone appearance in round 1.

Espanola’s Marc Terriault is also unbeaten in the playoffs entering Friday’s semifinal opener as he went 4-0 against the Nickel Barons with a 3.25 average and .913 save mark.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The two sides met eight times during the course of the regular season, including three games that required double overtime before a winner was decided.

The Gold Miners were unbeaten in regulation time against the Rivermen going 5-0-0-3 with Espanola however winning each of the three contests that required extra time.

Kirkland Lake went 4-0 at The Joe vs. Espanola with the Rivermen going 3-1 at home with all four games decided by one goal that included the three double OT affairs.

Samuel Wilbur was the Gold Miners leading point producer against Espanola this season racking up 17 points on a team-high eight goals and nine assists.

Austin Rust was next with 11 points followed by Steven Babin and defenceman Jeremy Picard-Fiset with 10 apiece.

Brandon Janke paced the Rivermen vs. the Miners with 11 points, including four tallies.

Corbin Bean and Brennen Dubchak were close behind with nine and eight points respectively.

Special teams saw both teams produce on the power play with Kirkland Lake going 13-38 with the man advantage while Espanola was 7-40.

The Gold Miners notched the lone shorthanded marker.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RESULTS

Sept. 6: @ Kirkland Lake (8-3 Gold Miners)
Oct. 18: @ Espanola (4-3 Rivermen – 2OT)
Nov. 16: @ Kirkland Lake (6-2 Gold Miners)
Nov. 22: @ Espanola (2-1 Rivermen – 2OT)
Jan. 24: @ Kirkland Lake (4-2 Gold Miners)
Feb. 8: @ Kirkland Lake (7-3 Gold Miners)
Feb. 28: @ Espanola (3-2 Rivermen – 2OT)
March 9: @ Espanola (4-3 Gold Miners)